The output pace of India’s eight major industries mildly accelerated in January 2020 by 2.2 per cent from a rise of 2.1 per cent reported in December 2019.
This is the second consecutive month of rise for the Index of Eight Core Industries (ECI) after four months of contraction.
Similarly, the Index of Eight Core Industries showed that last month’s expansion was higher on a year-on-year basis from 1.5 per cent growth rate reported for January 2019.
The eight core industries include coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.
As per the ECI, barring crude oil, natural gas and fertilisers, all other sectors expanded in January.
The ECI comprises over 40 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
On a sector-specific basis, the refinery output, which has the highest weightage of 28.03, rose by 1.9 per cent in January compared to the same month of the previous financial year.
Electricity generation, which has the second highest weightage of 19.85, increased by 2.8 per cent.
Steel production, the third most important component with a weightage of 17.91, inched up by 2.2 per cent during the month under review, whereas coal mining, with 10.33 weightage, was up 8 per cent.
However, the extraction of crude oil, which has a weightage of 8.98, declined by 5.3 per cent in January. The sub-index for natural gas output with a weightage of 6.87 inched lower by 9.1 per cent.
Conversely, cement output, which has a weightage of 5.37, grew by 5 per cent, while fertiliser production, which has the least weightage of 2.62, decreased by 0.1 per cent in January.
Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA said, “The core sector data for January 2020 offer mixed cues, with a pickup in the performance of coal, electricity and crude oil offset by weaker prints for the remaining five sectors, including fertilisers, steel and cement.
“Nevertheless, the growth in the core sector output for the second consecutive month after four months of contraction offers some encouragement.”